Notes from a small island
A weblog by Jonathan Ali

Tuesday, August 26, 2003  

"Even Zevon's record label seems to grasp that this is a moment to keep it simple. "July 2003: Warren is still alive," the official bio says, and that's that. He lived to finish the record and to see his grandchildren born. A PR person for Artemis says, "Some days are better than others for him. He's hanging in there. Unfortunately, his prognosis is the same." It doesn't seem likely that Zevon will be appearing in public again. In two ballads co-written with Jorge Calderon, though, he found the voice for a songwriter's farewell. "Keep Me in Your Heart," finished at his home studio in April after he was no longer able to travel, bids a cleareyed goodbye to an old love, and the language couldn't be much homelier: "Sometimes when you're doing simple things around the house/ Maybe you'll think of me and smile/ You know I'm tied to you like the buttons on your blouse/ Keep me in your heart for awhile." It's the modesty of that qualifying "maybe," and the shrugging "for awhile," that make the sentiment hard to shake off. And in the spare, heartbreaking "El Amor de mi Vida," Zevon leaves the listener with an unforgettable image: a man looking out at a world that, somewhere, holds the woman who used to love him: "I look outside, I know you're there/ And you've found a brand new life somewhere/ I only wish it had been us/ But I'm happy for your happiness." It's a lovely sending-off, with forgiveness and an open heart—the way we'd all want to be sent off, to a new lover, a new place, or whatever fresh mysteries lie beyond the life we know."

--From the Slate review of the album Hasten The Wind by singer-songwriter Warren Zevon, who has terminal cancer.

posted by Jonathan | 1:17 PM 0 comments


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